Q-LITE® Quality Lightweight Concrete Masonry Units, developed in 1991, is a major innovation in standard gray units. Q-LITE® concrete masonry units are the lowest density blended aggregate units available, and combine the benefits of blending multiple aggregates with a U.L.-certified fire rating.
Q-LITE® Quality Lightweight concrete masonry units are manufactured using Rotary Kiln Expanded Clay lightweight aggregates produced by Trinity Lightweight. Trinity Lightweight's Riverlite® is the premium lightweight aggregate manufactured to comply with with ASTM C 331, "Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for Concrete Masonry Units". In addition, Riverlite® lightweight aggregate fines are classified as a recovered material that contributes to the recycled content of concrete masonry units, thereby contributing to potential LEED® certification of building projects. With the recent changes to ASTM C90, Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, Q-LITE® offers the masonry industry an excellent tool to provide stability and growth for loadbearing units in an ever-changing construction market.
FIRE RESISTANCE is the keystone of the Q-LITE® system. Full scale fire tests conducted by Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. resulted in 2-Hour certification for 8X8X16 units made with Q- LITE’s exclusive “70-30” mix design, with an equivalent thickness of 3.8 inches. The “70-30” mix design is defined as a blend of 70% Rotary Kiln Expanded Clay lightweight aggregate manufactured by Trinity Lightweight, and 30% natural aggregates, by volume. “Natural aggregates” include natural siliceous sand, limerock, limestone and granite. Fire resistance ratings for Q-LITE® concrete masonry units having an equivalent thickness other than 3.8 inches can be calculated using the procedures found in ACI/TMS 216, Code Requirements for Determining Fire Resistance of Concrete and Masonry Construction Assemblies. For more information please refer to Technical Information Sheet No. 2,“Fire Resistance of Q-LITE® Concrete Masonry Units”.
INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY is critical for growth of any manufacturing or construction industry. Q-LITE® concrete masonry units allow increased productivity in production, delivery, handling, and installation of concrete masonry units. Tests conducted by the National Concrete Masonry Association, the Expanded Shale Clay & Slate Institute and Masonry Consultants, Inc. in the field and at NCMA’s Research and Development Laboratory confirmed that lighter weight units result in improved mason productivity, compared to heavier, conventional units. Productivity improves even more when lightweight units of larger sizes are used. To optimize mason productivity, Q-LITE® concrete masonry units can be made in 24-inch lengths. These oversize units weigh less than conventional size heavyweight units, and allow the mason to dramatically improve his production – as much as 65%, according to one test. Increased productivity with Q-LITE® CMU's will help the industry address high labor costs and an aging workforce. Other advantages include lower delivery costs, increased payloads for delivery trucks, reduced handling costs and lower scaffolding costs. Productivity features of Q-LITE® concrete masonry units are discussed in more detail in Technical Information Sheet No. 3, “Increased Mason Productivity with Q-LITE® Concrete Masonry Units”.
ENERGY EFFICIENT CONSTRUCTION is an important consideration today and for the future. The affordability of residential, commercial and industrial construction is directly related to the energy efficiency of major construction materials. Q-LITE® CMU's made with Trinity Lightweight's expanded clay aggregates provide excellent thermal performance in a cost competitive wall system. Because insulating values are a function of concrete density, Q-LITE® CMU's achieve superior thermal properties, with “U” values of 0.32 or lower for standard 8X8X16 units. This is equivalent to an “R” value of 3.12, which is 27% higher than a typical "lightweight" unit with a density of 105 pcf. Of course, the thermal performance of Q-LITE® concrete masonry can be further advanced by the use of insulation inserts, loose fill or foam insulation, or rigid insulation applied to the exterior or interior of the wall. For more information on the thermal properties of Q-LITE® concrete masonry units See Technical Information Sheet No. 4, “Energy Efficient Construction with Q-LITE® Concrete Masonry Units”.
ACOUSTICAL PROPERTIES of concrete masonry are greatly enhanced with Q-LITE® CMU's. The problem of noise pollution has become a primary consideration in the design of industrial, commercial and residential buildings. With each advance in technology comes more types of noise. Government agencies have tightened restrictions on noise pollution to protect the American public from long term exposure to high noise levels. Concrete masonry’s mass and rigidity are extremely effective in reducing the transmission of unwanted sounds. With Q-LITE® CMUs, superior sound reduction is maintained while reducing the weight of the wall, a claim no other wall system can make. For more information please refer to Technical Information Sheet No. 5, “Acoustical Properties for Q-LITE® Concrete Masonry Units”.
In summary, the development of Q-LITE® Quality Lightweight concrete masonry units is a milestone in construction history. With Q-LITE® CMUs, the masonry industry has a tool to provide stability and growth for the standard gray units in an ever-changing construction market. Q-LITE® Quality Lightweight concrete masonry units are manufactured using Rotary Kiln Expanded Clay lightweight aggregates produced by Trinity Lightweight, the nation’s leading producer of expanded shale and clay aggregates. Trinity Lightweight's Riverlite® aggregate, is the premium lightweight aggregate for Concrete Masonry Units.
Trinity Lightweight stands firmly behind the masonry industry through National, State and Local Masonry Association participation. We are committed to the production of quality aggregates for quality concrete masonry units to ensure the future of the masonry industry. We look forward to working with our customers and partners to improve the quality of masonry construction.
Over one million lightweight concrete block are being used to construct a new psychiatric hospital campus in Central Missouri. The concrete masonry units are being manufactured by Midwest Block and Brick and utilize Trinity Lightweight’s Riverlite® produced in Erwinville, Louisiana.
It’s one thing to read a pile of technical white papers about the performance, superior fire resistance, aesthetic properties, quality and productivity improvements possible with lightweight concrete masonry units (CMU) or concrete block. It’s another to hear it straight from the folks who are out in the field installing the product.
Crowds attending a game or event at Houston's NRG Stadium probably won't notice the 800-thousand lightweight concrete masonry units (CMU’s) in the walls. Each block making up the massive stadium contains rotary-kiln lightweight aggregates. In fact, lightweight is incorporated throughout the 1.9 million sq. ft. facility.
A new high school in a fast growing Middle Tennessee community has been built using about 450,000 lightweight block produced by Southland Brick and Block of Murfreesboro.
For years Shannon Tayes, owner of Tayes Masonry in Smithville, Tennessee, has used Q-LITE® in his projects and he's still amazed at how the lightweight block achieves its fire rating. “It’s actually amazing how light they are…I don’t know how they do it,” he says.